Chapter 18

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"Julia...I-" "Save your words for someone who cares, Peter. I have nothing to say to you," I cut him off harshly. I begin to walk away, trying to become transparent again, but Peter grabs my arm and pulls me back, preventing me from doing so. "Well I have a few things to say to you," he answers back. I look up at him, and he's as handsome as ever. His big brown eyes sparkle with determination, his short dark hair slicked, his sharp jawline ever present. I can't help but look at his lips, those lips that met mine a month ago. However, things are different now.

"Don't touch me," I growl as I jerk my arm free. "Will you just listen to what I have to say? Please?" Peter begs. "What could you possibly have to say to me? I tried to reach out to you and know you better, and you basically told me to get lost. You said we'd never see each other again," I remind him. "And yet here we are. You can hate me and be mad, but I want you to listen to what I have to say," he insists. He's obviously not going to back down, so it's no use trying to refuse him. "Make it quick," I snap.

"I want you to know that when you came to my side of the wall, I was happy. I was happy that you came and grateful that you scared away my father. He hasn't bothered me since you intervened. But the reason why I said the things I did is because I didn't have a grip on my motives," he says.

"What's the supposed to mean?" I say halfheartedly. "I'm a part of the dark side, but I'm nearly a complete opposite from the ones that live there. Nearly. I am two personalities, Julia. My dark side, and my good side. Sometimes, my dark side will fight for control, and it causes me to be impulsive and do things I never wanted. So when you came, I told you to leave because I was afraid of what my dark side would do to you. But when I said I'd never see you again, that wasn't any part of me. I'm still confused about what caused me to say that. But I want you to know that I didn't mean a word I said, and that I'm sorry. And Julia, if you still hate me, I'll let you keep hating me. You are your own person, so don't let me influence what you think. Just know this: I love you, Julia Lancaster. I love the way your green eyes sparkle, the way you scrunch up your nose when you get mad, the way you say my name, the way you refuse to live your life by someone else's orders. And I don't think you're strange because of your eyes. I think you're beautiful," he finishes.

I am suddenly aware of tears gathering in my eyes and flowing freely down my cheeks. What a little baby I must look like now. Since when do I cry over little things like this? Oh, who am I kidding? Little? He just told me he loves me!

"You...you love me?" I ask. "More than anything in the world," he answers. I let loose a cry of happiness and throw my arms around him, and he wraps his arms around me in response. He holds me tight, like he's afraid to let me go. Truth be told, I'm the one who's afraid to let go. "I've missed you," I tell him. "I've missed you too. More than you'll ever know," he replies.

I lean back a little bit with my arms still around him so I can see his face. I've mastered the power of truth, so I would know if he's lying. Every single word he just said was complete and utter truth. I begin to lean in, wanting to kiss him again. My lips have just brushed his when I see something out of the corner of my eye. I turn, only to find the barrel of a gun pointed at the two of us.

"Move. NOW!" The man holding the gun yells. I can tell he works for the Council because of his badge that reads "Society Police." I curse under my breath. "I don't believe you heard me; I said move!" The man yells again. "Why don't you move? Why don't you go back to where you came from?" Peter challenges. "Shhh, don't argue, Peter," I warn. "I'd listen to your little girlfriend," the man teases. "And who might you be?" I ask. "I am James Riden, Council Police. It is my job to keep this fine society in good shape and make sure that its people obey the rules. You two are done seeing each other. Say your goodbyes," James orders.

Peter and I obey nothing; we stay put, still not letting go. "Move, or I'll shoot," James threatens. I hear him click the gun in place, and he aims, but not at me. He has his aim locked on Peter.

Not wanting him to get hurt, I let go and put my hands in the air, indicating my surrender. "Smart girl," he answers. Suddenly, an entire force of police emerge from the trees, all armed and all have their locked eyes on us. "Well it's about time! I ordered backup ten minutes ago!" James yells. "Sorry chief. Couldn't navigate our way through this place. But we're here now. Are these the traitors?" "Correct. Half of you take the boy, the rest of us will take the girl," James stated.

Suddenly, the police stampede Peter and I, seizing our arms and pulling us away from each other. Peter struggles to break free, managing to shake off a few police, only to be swarmed with more. I try to do the same, but I don't have the strength that he does. I can't get anyone off of me. I begin to panic, images of what my punishment for this will be flashing in my mind. I begin to violently fight back, doing everything I possibly can to break free, but it's no use; I am overpowered.

I turn my attention back to Peter, and what I see shocks me. Fury blazes in his eyes as he slips out of the police's hands. Punching, kicking, and yelling his way through, he breaks free. He begins to run, but he turns back and begins to run for me. "No! Don't come back for me! I'll be fine! Go!" I yell. "Not without you!" He yells back. I become aware of the police loading their guns and getting ready to shoot him. "Peter, RUN!" I yell at the top of my lungs.

Sadness flashes across his face as he turns away from me and runs for the cover of the forest. "Don't just stand there, you fools! Find him!" James orders. "You are going to pay for that, young lady," he snarls at me. "What could you possibly do to me? I'm a highly ranked member of this society. Do you know what troubles you would bring upon yourself if you laid even a finger on me?" I challenge. What I've probably just said is probably going to be the death of me; the Council could care less if I died. "I think that you'll find that fear is not in my vocabulary," James answers back. "You won't find it in mine either," I fire back. "Perhaps, but I don't need to. It's in your eyes," James says menacingly.

"Get her back to headquarters and throw her in jail until the Council can deal with her," James orders. "And just how do you plan to do that?" I ask in a last-ditch effort to escape. "Like this," James says. Suddenly, I feel him hit his gun on the back of my head. Hard. I fall to the ground, black spots dancing in my vision and pain shooting from my head. "Have a nice nap," is the last thing I hear someone say before I black out.

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